Food Act Kortrijk was a food aid network active in Kortrijk since 2014. It operated on a very small scale: surpluses were collected from about five retailers and redistributed to Kortrijk welfare organisations on a daily basis via a weekly schedule. However, there was no refrigerated transport or storage facilities. The supply was limited to vegetables, fruit, bread and dry food.
Thanks to the help of Flanders Circular, OCMW Kortrijk wanted to scale up this local initiative to a new distribution platform for food surpluses in the entire South-West Flanders region: Food Act 13.
This upscaling resulted in successful regional cooperation between 14 local authorities and 90 buyers. Food Act 13 now forms a network of 14 OCMWs and 13 structural partners of which Voedselbank West-Vlaanderen is the most unique.
Additional objectives, such as the valorisation of meat and fish surpluses from the retail sector or research into food surpluses in OCMW kitchens, were also achieved.
Partners Voedselverdeelorganisaties in Kortrijk Delhaize
For Food Act 13, an investment of EUR 300,000 meant a result of about 300,000 kg of food surplus that would otherwise have ended up in the rubbish.
The continued financing of Food Act 13 after 2020 is the biggest challenge. The benefits lie mainly in the social added value, the financial return is almost non-existent. The question is whether Flanders can continue to support such projects financially and structurally.